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Mayor Kenney speaks at large-scale clean-up of Kensington Avenue in November. Photo: David Maas/AL DÍA News.
Mayor Kenney speaks at large-scale clean-up of Kensington Avenue in November. Photo: David Maas/AL DÍA News.

Philly reaches 10-week mark of opioid crisis emergency response

With efforts officially extended through the end of June now, the next major scheduled milestone is the clearing out of the Emerald Street encampment, expected…

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Ten weeks into the city's emergency response to the opioid crisis, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney has officially extended the efforts through June, 2019. 

At the formal request of First Deputy Managing Director Brian Abernathy on Tuesday, Kenney agreed that the city should continue to implement the Philadelphia Resilience Project, which was due to expire at the end of December. This did not come as a surprise, as the city had already mapped out its goals through June of next year.

Meeting at Kensington’s McPherson Square Library, city officials also updated the community on progress made on immediate and short-term goals to date.

“I am pleased with the progress the Philadelphia Resilience Project has made so far and I agree to extend the executive order through June 30, 2019,” Kenney said in a press release.

“The opioid epidemic was not created overnight and it will not be solved overnight, but I’m confident that this new approach is working. I look forward to achieving more long term goals in the months ahead,” he continued.

Through the first nearly three months of the emergency response to date, the city has cleared out the Frankford Avenue encampment and, according to the Resilience Project’s latest update, they have begun outreach to do the same with the encampment at Emerald Street.

Officials have also secured funding for a Navigation Center to help reduce the unsheltered population, and are now waiting to finalize a location.

They have additionally created so-called “Safe Corridor” routes for children attending public schools in Kensington, with plans to create more, and they have conducted two large-scale cleanups in the community, covering a total of 120 blocks.

With efforts officially extended through the end of June now, the next major scheduled milestone is the clearing out of the Emerald Street encampment, expected to be carried out by Jan. 15.

To learn more about the Philadelphia Resilience Project, click here.

For the city's latest update on the progress of its emergency response, click here.

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